Driver Loses Wheel, and Recovers It!

Bleekemolen Wheel 560x180

Baltimore is abuzz with the big inaugural Grand Prix this weekend. Being from the local area, I decided to take in some of the American Le Mans qualifying streaming on the internet. It was then that I experienced something I have never seen before in my limited history of watching racing.

Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen lost a wheel, but his car was still moving. So rather than just limp back to the pits, Bleekemolen stopped his car, got out and retrieved the wheel. He then brought it back to the pits riding in the passenger side. Truly an amazing sight that unfolds in the video below :

To make this scene even more remarkable, consider that Bleekemolen later went on to set the fastest time, and thus started on the Pole of today’s race. He later described the scene to a pit-reporter:

“I told the guys I think we have a puncture and thought we’d be done for the day. The guys said, no it’s just loose, bring it back slowly. Then as I was going through the tires to take the shortcut and it came off. I knew at Le Mans you can get out in a safe location and retrieve parts. So I parked it, jumped out. Then I put the tire in the passenger door and drove it back. We were able to get it back on without damage, and I went back out and set my fast time. But I later dropped it a few tenths but it was still a good lap.”